It's easy to forget that we are all perfect in our own design. Sometimes we muck it up with habits and choices that do not serve us. 

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When You Speak: Drop Tart Tone

ripe-and-fresh-lemon-on-branch-picture-id615896990 Drop Tart Tone - it matters

The Practice:
Drop tart tone.

Why?

Tone matters.

I remember times I felt frazzled or aggravated and then said something with an edge to it that just wasn’t necessary or useful. Sometimes it was the words themselves: such as absolutes like “never” or always,” or over-the-top phrases like “you’re such a flake” or “that was stupid.” More often it was the intonation in my voice, a harsh vibe or look, interrupting, or a certain intensity in my body. However I did it, the people on the receiving end usually looked like they’d just sucked a lemon. This is what I mean by tart tone.

People are more sensitive to tone than to the explicit content of spoken or written language. To paraphrase the poet Maya Angelou, people will forget what you said, but they’ll remember how you made them feel. And we are particularly reactive to negative tone, due to the negativity bias in the brain (written about in previous JOTs).

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85 Hits

The Power Of Doing Nothing

woman-relaxing-outdoors-in-fall-picture-id622982604 “When you share your struggles, not only do you heal, you’re healing the world.”

We live in a world that moves so fast at warped speed that we forget the benefits of simply being still. In this episode, we talk about the power of doing nothing. Yes folks, I said the power of doing nothing. This is the opposite of what we are conditioned and programmed to be, as our culture loves activity and multi-tasking. Learn the real benefit from being still and working and living with a quiet mind. Thats the real value.

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61 Hits

Navigating Chaos with Grace & Ease

mute-swan-picture-id1217400065 Navigating Chaos with Grace & Ease

My dear friend, the wise and beautiful Rev. Cynthia James, sent out a blog the other day filled with important and potent advice on dealing with the times we are in.

She has graciously given me permission to share this with you:

These last few months have been quite a ride. A pandemic, social unrest, and political upsets have created upset, division and emotional disturbance. It has been hard to keep up day to day with all of the changes.

I, personally, have had to find more ways to become clear, stay focused and stay still within myself. Quite frankly, I have had to learn how to navigate the chaos of these times.

Let me share what I mean by first beginning with definitions.

To Navigate: to move on, over, or through (water, air, or land) in a ship or aircraft; to manage or direct a course.

The word chaos derives from a Greek word meaning “chasm” or “void,” which makes sense, given that chaos also refers to the formless state of matter before the cosmos was created. It also means a state of utter confusion or disorder; a total lack of organization or order. any confused, or disorderly mass.

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98 Hits

Compartmentalizing Emotions

woman-with-mixed-emotions-picture-id621859264 How about those emotions? Have you been feeling some of those lately? What are you doing with those?

Emotions are the ones that we have to pay attention to the most … cause they’re the sneaky suckers. They’re the ones that get under our skin. They’re the ones that activate these parts of ourselves that we don’t really like / definitely don’t love.

We need to learn how to be able to experience them in a way that honors us: who we are, how we are, where we’ve been and where we are going … so we don’t have to get stuck in the story.

We don’t have to get stuck in the bullshit, but we do need to recognize that when you have unresolved emotions, when you have things that you have not looked at, when you have feelings from the past that have not been felt through / that have not been experienced / that have not been accounted for … that are just sitting in these little pockets throughout your heart and your mind and your spirit and your body … they will get your attention. They will absolutely, without a doubt, they will get your attention. And usually the way our emotions get our attention is one of two ways:

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  59 Hits
59 Hits

Drop The Case

lawyer-or-judge-gavel-with-balance-handshake-picture-id1170018697 Who are you prosecuting?

The Practice:

Drop the case.

Why?

Lately I’ve been thinking about a kind of “case” that’s been running in my mind about someone in my extended family. The case is a combination of feeling hurt and mistreated, critique of the other person, irritation with others who haven’t supported me, views about what should happen that hasn’t, and implicit taking-things-personally.

In other words, the usual mess.

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150 Hits

When Opportunity Knocks

IMG_2409-1200x900

One of my favorite board games when I was growing up was called Careers. It came with a small set of Opportunity cards, which you chose every time you landed on an “Opportunity Knocks” square on the board. Each card directed you to a different career adventure. For some reason, I remembered this game the other day and thought how we all could probably use Opportunity reminders in our lives. The deeper I dive into the wisdom of accepting all life events as part of my soul’s journey, the more I realize that each event is an opportunity to surrender.

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215 Hits

Who's Really In Charge?

relax-and-go-back-to-nature-yoga-at-night-solo-traveler-a-cheerful-picture-id1258126268

The other day, I woke up early and took my coffee out to our deck where I could just sit in silence with my dogs, letting emotions and thoughts wash over me. Lately, I’ve found myself pulled in different directions at once, and the tension has left me a bit (okay, a lot!) overwhelmed at times with so much going on around us. 

I see the challenges of the larger world we live in — the pain, the struggles, the imperfections — and part of me gets sucked into grief and sadness. But at the same time, I see the beauty that surrounds us: People standing up for each other and using their voices to lift each other up, the natural artistry of the changing seasons, and the Divine love that weaves through and connects us all, from the largest mountain to the smallest blade of grass or speck of pollen. It’s all connected, yet we seem so separate at times!   

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191 Hits

Embracing The Unknown

let-your-mind-wander-every-now-and-then-picture-id879044948 “The amount of freedom you experience in life is in direct proportion to the degree you embrace the unknown.”
What if you don’t have to know where you are going in order to get where you need to be? You are exactly where you are meant to be, doing what you are meant to do, even if it doesn’t seem that way. However, there may be many moments in life when you feel as though you don’t know what to do. You are outside of your comfort zone and living in the unknown. These moments can seem scary, as you are in unchartered territory with no roadmap for where you are going. Listen to this episode and learn how to let go, trust in life and embrace the unknown.

Mark Nepo's Weekly Reflection: Miracle and Tragedy

*Photo Credit: Oliver Hihn Miracle and tragedy are forever linked

Sometimes, the life-giving downpour will snap a limb on its way to releasing spring. And once the storm has vanished, the flowers come alive and open. And sometimes, a boy drawn by their wild color will find the broken limb among the flowers and bring it home to secretly carve a walking stick for his bent and smiling grandfather who is as crooked as the fallen limb.

From outside the story, this seems a sweet happenstance. But when it’s our turn to be the snapped limb, then God seems merciless and life has no meaning. And this is true, in part, the way when we close our eyes, the world of light is lost and gone—as long as we refuse or forget how to open our eyes and see again. As real and painful as tragedy is, it is always as close to miracle as the opening of an eye or a heart or a mind. It’s as challenging as it is true that the only way through tragedy is to open up and let the lost world of light in again.

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36 Hits

What Defines You?

whatdefinesyou Open your heart, soften and melt.
Dr. Sue Morter from Morter Institute Consciously shares how to build neurocircuitry to so that you accurately define who you think you are.

You are infinite potential and possibility. And if that feels unattainable, I understand because I was intimidated growing up. And became super hard on myself to compensate because I didn't know who I was. So I invite you to take a “time out” and make sure you are doing what you desire? Ask yourself  do you feel love inside your body? You can generate the love inside on command.

Open your heart, soften and melt. Breathe in the central channel.
Take it to the body to recognize the real definition of you as pure potential. You begin to connect the dots when you let go of the labels and boxes you’ve used to define yourself.  And you start to let go when you focus on, “Do I feel love inside my body all day long?” So that you build the circuitry to become masterful at life.
  183 Hits
183 Hits

How To Stop Worrying and Trust Life

pensive-woman-in-front-of-the-window-picture-id1129696669 What you focus on expands

Worry is a waste of time.

It changes nothing.

Most of the things you are worrying about now, you won’t remember in a few years.

Stop focusing on the small stuff that you won’t even remember a week from now, and certainly not on your death bed.

Life gives you no refunds for the time you spent worrying.

What you focus on expands, so focus on what is truly important and meaningful to you. Decide to constantly feed what is beautiful about yourself and your life rather than what isn’t.

The quality of your life will be determined by the quality of your attention. And this is your choice.

By trying to furiously control life, you often end up controlled by it.

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171 Hits

Why Our Buttons Are Being Pushed Now, More Than Ever

young-woman-with-a-mask-during-pandemic-picture-id1216050889 Being triggered

Upheaval is one of the ways in which transformation can be facilitated. As you may have noticed, there’s a lot of that going on right now in the world and in our personal lives also.

The untruths or the structures that we have in place that are not providing us with well-being or are holding us back are coming to the surface.

What this means is that if we have buttons to be pushed, someone or something will be coming along to push them. Another term for this is called being triggered. It is up to us to let the discrepancies go and allow ourselves to heal.

It’s a human tendency to blame the button pusher, saying something like; “That person really pushes my buttons!” This attitude basically justifies the buttons, or the karma, or the personal demons so that they stay intact. The period of life that were entering and now will not allow us to keep our demons. It is a new chapter of clarity in the next level of awareness where these things have no place.

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184 Hits

Is the Universe Friendly?

deep-space-picture-id494436855 Trust that good things are happening

You probably already know that Albert Einstein, who won a Nobel Prize for Physics, and was famous for his theory of relativity, which revolutionized our understanding of space, time, gravity, and the Universe, was a genius. But did you also know he was quite the philosopher?

Einstein wrote that the most important question facing humanity is, ‘Is the Universe a friendly place?’

He explained that, “ if we decide that the Universe is an unfriendly place, then we will use our technology, our scientific discoveries and our natural resources to achieve safety and power by creating bigger walls to keep out the unfriendliness and bigger weapons to destroy all that is unfriendly and I believe that we are getting to a place where technology is powerful enough that we may either completely isolate or destroy ourselves as well in this process.”

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125 Hits

Slow Times are Grow Times

misty-morning-canoe-with-the-reflection-of-mt-hood-or-picture-id478656470 We have to find our way back to the stars

Many of us will hit fear season, the winter of our work. It’s when things go inky, evaporate, slow down to a crawl, or simply collapse on the side of the road. It’s when insecurity whips up like candy wrappers in a tornado. Most of us see the slack times as the pink slip of self-employment or some bad plague from which we will never recover.

But every creative success story seems to require a plunge into pain. It’s the emotional jalapeno that wakes up the creative grit to succeed. It’s when you call up your will power, leave chance behind, and summon the immensity of your own unspeakable strength. Nothing is happening on the surface. But know this: there’s a surge of growth mounting within you.

When I’ve hit dry skids in my speaking and coaching business, I have often gone on wild red alert. You would think the aliens had finally arrived, closed Starbucks, and brought the end of civilization with them. Friends say comforting things like “The land needs to be fallow before it yields new crops. It’s all a period of gestation.” But I am gestating demons, bankruptcy, and new strains of anxiety attacks. I am growing crops of hallucinations. I’m not so good with this passive little time out for spa days and redirection.

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150 Hits

The Magic of 11:11!

1111 The Magic of 11:11!

As long as I can remember, the number 11:11 seems to show up just when I need a dose of guidance, or as a way to make me pay special attention to what’s going on around me. I’ve considered it as a “butterfly kiss” from Spirit, a message that I’m loved and cared for. It’s so fun to see the creative and playful ways that Spirit can communicate with us, and this has always been one of my favorites throughout my life. 

As I’ve shared many times before, my teen years were fraught with angst, stress, and anxiety (for me and my family!). This period was very difficult for me in large part because I could sense I was different from others, but I had no way of processing the strong emotions, prescient dreams, or intuitive “hits” I would get. Many of those intuitive episodes were preceded by periods where 11:11 would show up everywhere from clocks to the combination on my locker. At the time, I noticed the pattern, but I thought it was simply coincidence, not synchronicity. 

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156 Hits

Sacred Territory

sun-rays-in-a-dark-misty-forest-osnabruck-gemany-picture-id1179385633 “You are not the voice in your mind, but the one who is aware of it.” -Eckhart Tolle

I've Been Thinking...

I want to go slow this morning. I want to ease my way into your heart and mind.

After all, entry into those spaces is sacred. I know that. It always has been. But, now it’s really sacred, and it’s something I take seriously.

It’s scary out there, right? It’s scary, and it’s noisy as hell. There is so much trying to make its way into your mind, and very little of it benefits you personally (please see my interview with the director of the new film "The Social Dilemma" below about this very issue). It is challenging to navigate all of the information and/or misinformation coming your way. If you aren’t vigilant, it can make you feel, well... crazy.

Speaking of crazy, I don’t use that word lightly. Anyone who has felt crazy in their life, or who has been made to feel like they are losing their mind, knows how triggering it can be to be told you’re crazy, or that you don’t know what you are talking about, or that what you are saying or seeing isn’t true. That said, we are in crazy-making times. Perhaps you feel crazy like I do when people insist the pandemic is a hoax despite the fact that more than 200,000 Americans have lost their lives. It’s crazy-making that a young woman can be killed in her home and no one is held responsible for her death. It’s crazy-making when the President of the United States floats the idea that he might not leave the White House, even if he loses. What?? 

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175 Hits

Change The Channel

woman-at-home-watching-the-tv-during-the-lockdown-picture-id1216804019 It’s OK to change the channel

What can you do when nothing is working?

The Practice:
Change the channel.

Why?

In response to a previous JOT – Find Stillness – a wise therapist, Betsy Sansby, reminded me that sometimes a person just can’t find any stillness anywhere. Maybe you have epilepsy or chronic pain, or are wildly worried about a child or other loved one, or have been rejected in love or had the bottom fall out financially. In other words, as Betsy put it, like there’s a nest of bees in your chest.

She’s right.

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154 Hits

Walk Lightly Through Life

solo-traveler-walking-on-a-bridge-with-arm-raised-picture-id907634620 A gateway to a new and exciting understanding

Whenever you come upon a healing idea or a rescuing truth, it is almost always a surprise that you could have missed something that was so obvious for so long. Do you know the feeling? More than anything else, a glimpse of a Timeless Truth is a lot like rounding a bend and suddenly seeing something you know you knew a long, long time ago; like discovering all over again a special place you once loved. 

You can't explain it but these out-of-the-blue higher moments seem as much a trusted memory as they do a gateway to a new and exciting understanding. Our life is intended to be filled with magical moments such as these. Settling for anything less is an unseen compromise that suffers the Spirit. This is why the real successes in life are more an awakening than they are an arrival at a thrilling but temporary destination.

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240 Hits

Two Easy Steps To Experience An Inspired Calm

trail-signs-in-sedona-arizona-picture-id1161687088 Experience An Inspired Calm

My husband and I planned a quick trip on Labor Day. We were looking to relax and reconnect while exploring the Grand Canyon and Sedona in Arizona. I made reservations for a glamorous tent site as well as a couple of guided tours. I didn’t take into consideration that 25 percent of the world’s population and their pets made the exact same plan. I also wasn’t prepared for a heatwave impacting every waking moment of our escape. In the first 24 hours, I needed to be emotionally rescued from my vacation.

Our luxury camping adventure began with our GPS attempting to send us through the desert on a road that didn’t exist. When we finally located our weekend stay, it was well over a hundred degrees, crowded, and dusty. We found our tent with very small water, mister, in the doorway providing little protection from the heat. If the canvas flap was open, we could sometimes feel a light breeze. We quickly figured out that taking a shower and lying in front of the doorway was our best cooling option. On a side note, the shower had no temperature control and it was operated by a pull cord. The glamping wasn’t quite what we had expected. It was memorable and interesting but definitely not relaxing.

The following morning, we had a late start to a hiking adventure. Because of the heat, we decided to trek only three miles down before starting back the steep climb up. We shared the narrow trail with mules, their riders, families, rangers, happy people, stressed people, and everything in between. I was completely inspired by the beauty of the Grand Canyon but overwhelmed by the crowds.

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218 Hits

Being With What Is

white-water-rafting-picture-id139894095 How do you best enjoy the ride?

We are now a full six months into living with the Corona pandemic.

For me, and most everyone I know, it’s been a very bumpy ride.

It’s kind of like white-water river rafting. Periods of smooth tranquil waters followed by occasional terrifying rapids where I’m holding on tight, hoping not to capsize.

There’s no map. We don’t know when or where the river ends.

Nobody does.

No one.

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  108 Hits
108 Hits